Monday, January 2, 2012

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Biscotti

One of my favorite things about Christmas the past few years has been making biscotti to give away as gifts, and enjoy with a cup of hot cocoa. I like to try out different flavor variations and the basic recipe from Brown Eyed Baker is perfect for that! She also has some other great variations I will be trying at sometime in the near future, but wanted to make my own for Christmas. She also has a Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti, but I'm not a big fan of chocolate cookies, so I decided to tone it down by just adding some chocolate pieces to the dough. I also love the flavor of anise in almost any kind of biscotti, but it's completely optional. My little helper dumped in more than is called for here while I wasn't looking, so ours was extra licorice-y. It still seemed to compliment the other flavors well. Check out the Brown Eyed Baker for other great recipes too! She's one of my favorite resources for spectacular, and often fairly simple to make, meals and desserts. Happy cooking!

Aren't they purdy? I loved how these ones had little specks of green from the pistachios, and the pistachios on top helped the flavor stick out. These seemed to be my husbands favorite and we had a hard time staying out of them. For these I drizzled a mixture of half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate over the tops. Then I sprinkled on some chopped pistachios and drizzled some more chocolate. Honestly, who doesn't love MORE chocolate? ;)

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Biscotti
(Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tsp anise extract (optional)
2 3/4 all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 ounces shelled unsalted pistachios, finely chopped (I bought salted and roasted shelled pistachios, shelled them by hand and then rinsed them and it turned out great)
5 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 375F.

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs on at a time, beating well after each addition, and then add the extracts. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix until almost combined. Add the pistachios and chocolate and mix until well incorporated and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and rub a little flour on your hands. Divide the dough in two equal pieces and shape each into a log approximately 4 inches wide and 10 inches long. Bake on parchment lined baking sheets until lightly brown and small cracks form, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Transfer the logs to a cutting board. Slice on the diagonal in 1/2" slices using a very sharp kitchen knife. Place them back on the trays with the cut side up. Bake for another 16-20 minutes until lightly browned, turning over half way through baking. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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